Turkey eager to use local currencies in trade: FM

By Fatih Hafız Mehmet

CARACAS, Venezuela (AA) – Turkey is eager to use local currencies in bilateral trade deals to counter efforts by the U.S., Turkey’s foreign minister said late Friday

"We are so keen actually to use local currencies in our bilateral trade, not only between Turkey and Venezuela, but also between Turkey and other countries," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference in Caracas with his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza.

Cavusoglu said since the U.S. administration has been using the dollar as a tool to attack other countries’ economies, many countries have been trying to use local currencies in trade.

He added that Turkey is not against the currency of any country, but currencies should not be used as instruments to attack other nations' economies.

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UPDATE 2 – Turkey, Germany vow to boost economic ties

ADDS COMMENTS BY GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Turkey and Germany on Friday pledged to forge closer economic and strategic ties following a high-level meeting of their finance, economy and energy ministers in Berlin.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said the two countries shared the same positions on many global political and economic issues, and their differences on a number of issues were not an obstacle for a closer relationship.

“We have entered a new period in our bilateral relations. We want to further enhance our ties by adopting a sincere and constructive approach, by taking strategic steps” he said.

“I firmly believe that in the coming days, Turkey and Germany will take stronger steps towards strategic cooperation,” he stressed.

Albayrak made the remarks at a joint news conference with German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier following their meeting in Berlin.

Turkey’s Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Sonmez also attended the meeting.

Albayrak said during the meeting that they also reviewed preparations for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s official visit to Berlin next week.

“I believe that following this important visit of our president to Germany, we will achieve very positive results — not only in terms of Turkey-Germany relations, but also in terms of Turkey-European Union relations,” he said.

Erdogan is scheduled to pay a key visit to Berlin on Sept. 28-29, which would be his first official visit to Germany since 2014.

-Support for Turkey’s economy

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz renewed his country’s support for Turkey’s economic stability amid market worries over exchange rate fluctuations.

“It is in our common interest to see Turkey’s stable economic development, to see that Turkey can address recent challenges in its economy,” he said at the press conference.

Asked if Germany was considering providing financial assistance to Turkey, Scholz underlined that so far, the Turkish side has not asked for such assistance.

He said their talks have focused on further developing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy, trade and energy.

On Turkey’s expectations for an updated EU-Turkey Customs Union, Scholz said they can work for progress in this area through a step-by-step approach.

– 'Common geostrategic interests'

For his part, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, underlined that Turkey has been a very important economic and trade partner.

“We have very close economic cooperation. More than 7,500 German companies are active in Turkey,” he said.

Altmaier said they agreed Friday to take steps to further enhance economic relations between the two countries and continue cooperation in addressing the refugee crisis.

“We are sharing common geostrategic interests,” he said, referring to the civil war in Syria and its negative impacts on the region.

“We would like to stabilize the region, which is very often characterized by civil wars and refugees,” he added.

Altmaier expressed hope that Erdogan’s meeting with Merkel next week would open “a new page” in bilateral relations.

Relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks in past years, but both sides have taken steps in recent months towards improving ties.

EU heavyweight Germany remains Turkey’s main economic and trade partner. In 2017, the bilateral trade volume reached €37.6 billion ($43.6 billion).

Germany is also significant for Turkey as more than 3 million people of Turkish origin reside in the country. Many of them are second- and third-generation German-born citizens whose Turkish grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

Turkey hails third inter-Korean summit

By Zuhal Demirci

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Friday welcomed the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration.

"Turkey sincerely wishes that the dialogue process will bring permanent peace to the Korean peninsula," Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to take specific denuclearization steps, as he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the second day of the Pyongyang summit.

On the inter-Korean front, the two sides also signed a comprehensive military agreement on reducing tensions and preventing accidental clashes, according to South Korean Yonhap news agency.

Moon and Kim additionally agreed to a series of cooperation initiatives, including connecting roads and railways, seeking to jointly host the 2032 Olympics, and establishing a new facility for family reunions.

1,000 foreign students complete Turkish summer school

By Elif Kucuk

ISTANBUL – Students from a total of 118 countries finished a program organized by the Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) which taught them Turkey’s culture, art and language.

Students at the Turkish language summer program were selected from 150,000 applicants from 118 countries, including Indonesia, Algeria, U.S., Armenia, Israel, Cuba, Germany, the U.K., Denmark, Palestine, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, and the Netherlands.

A total of 1,000 students participated in the one-month-long program which was held across Turkey.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Seref Ates, head of the institute, said the goal of the program was to display Anatolia's richness and cultural diversity to the world.

Ates said that around 5,000 students have come to Turkey within the scope of a total of nine programs so far.

"We aim to teach Turkish language to groups from different nationalities and professions,” he said.

“The young people got to know our country closely and discovered its richness. This is very important for the promotion of Turkey,” he added.

Ates said that the unique experience of the students including the language, culture, food, art and history will make them voluntary ambassadors of Turkey.

As part of the program, students learned Turkish in the eastern Malatya province, played traditional Turkish instruments, and learned Turkish folk dances.

In southeastern Gaziantep, the foreign students also visited a Baklava Museum and learned how to make the famous Turkish dessert.

Since its establishment in 2009, the Yunus Emre Institute has taught Turkish to more than 99,000 people in 45 countries.

Named after the influential poet Yunus Emre, the institute now has nearly 50 cultural centers around the world offering artistic, social and scientific programs.

UPDATE – Turkey, Germany vow to boost economic ties

UPDATES WITH COMMENTS BY GERMAN MINISTER ALTMAIER

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Turkey and Germany pledged on Friday closer economic and strategic ties between the two countries, following a high-level meeting of their finance, economy and energy ministers in Berlin.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said the two countries were sharing same positions on many global political and economic issues, and their differences on a number of issues were not an obstacle for a closer relationship.

“We have entered a new period in our bilateral relations, we want to further enhance our ties by adopting a sincere and constructive approach, by taking strategic steps” he said.

“I firmly believe that in the coming days Turkey and Germany will take stronger steps towards a strategic cooperation,” he stressed.

Albayrak made the remarks at a joint news conference with Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, and Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier, following their meeting in Berlin.

Turkey’s Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Sonmez also attended the meeting.

Albayrak said during the meeting they also reviewed preparations for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming official visit to Berlin next week.

“I believe that following this important visit of our president to Germany, we would achieve very positive results, not only in terms of Turkey-Germany relations, but also in terms of Turkey-European Union relations,” he said.

Erdogan is scheduled to pay a key visit to Berlin on Sept. 28-29, which would be his first official visit to Germany since 2014.

– 'Common geo-strategic interests'

For his part, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, underlined that Turkey has been a very important economic and trade partner.

“We have a very close economic cooperation. More than 7,500 German companies are active in Turkey,” he stressed.

Altmaier said they have agreed on Friday to take steps to further enhance economic relations between the two countries, and continue cooperation in addressing the refugee crisis.

“We are sharing common geo-strategic interests,” he said, referring to the civil-war in Syria and its negative impacts in the region.

“We would like to stabilize the region which is very often characterized by civil-wars and the refugees,” he added.

Altmaier expressed hope that Erdogan’s meeting with Merkel next week would open “a new page” in bilateral relations.

Political relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks in the past years, but both sides took steps in the recent months towards improving their ties.

EU heavyweight Germany remains Turkey’s main economic and trade partner. In 2017, the bilateral trade volume reached €37.6 billion ($43.6 billion).

Germany is also significant for Turkey as more than 3 million people of Turkish origin are living in the country. Many of them are second- and third-generation German-born citizens whose Turkish grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

Turkey, Germany vow to boost economic ties

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Turkey and Germany pledged on Friday closer economic and strategic ties between the two countries, following a high-level meeting of their finance, economy and energy ministers in Berlin.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said the two countries were sharing same positions on many global political and economic issues, and their differences on a number of issues were not an obstacle for a closer relationship.

“We have entered a new period in our bilateral relations, we want to further enhance our ties by adopting a sincere and constructive approach, by taking strategic steps” he said.

“I firmly believe that in the coming days Turkey and Germany will take stronger steps towards a strategic cooperation,” he stressed.

Albayrak made the remarks at a joint news conference with Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, and Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier, following their meeting in Berlin.

Turkey’s Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Sonmez also attended the meeting.

Albayrak said during the meeting they also reviewed preparations for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming official visit to Berlin next week.

“I believe that following this important visit of our president to Germany, we would achieve very positive results, not only in terms of Turkey-Germany relations, but also in terms of Turkey-European Union relations,” he said.

Erdogan is scheduled to pay a key visit to Berlin on Sept. 28-29, which would be his first official visit to Germany since 2014.

Political relations between Ankara and Berlin suffered several setbacks in the past years, but both sides took steps in the recent months towards improving their ties.

EU heavyweight Germany remains Turkey’s main economic and trade partner. In 2017, the bilateral trade volume reached €37.6 billion ($43.6 billion).

Germany is also significant for Turkey as more than 3 million people of Turkish origin are living in the country. Many of them are second- and third-generation German-born citizens whose Turkish grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.

6 PKK terrorists 'neutralized' in eastern Turkey

By Muhammed Boztepe

ANKARA (AA) – At least six PKK terrorists were "neutralized" during a counter-terror operation in eastern Turkey, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

The air-backed operation was carried out in rural area of Dogubayazit district of eastern Agri province, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Operations in the region are ongoing, it added.

The statement did not mention of any specific terrorist group but Turkey has long been conducting operations against the PKK terror group in the region.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.